There's never really a wrong time to run a social media audit - feeling like your social media presence has gone stale, or you're not seeing the results you’d like, can be a good indicator that it’s time to re-visit what you’ve been doing, and take stock of your social media presence.
Thinking of giving your social profiles a spring clean? Here’s an overview of the system I follow to conduct social media audits.
1. List All of the Social Media Networks You’re Active on
Step one in any audit, is to take a look at what you’re currently doing, so we’ll start by looking at the social media networks you’re currently active on.
To get started, make a list of all the social media networks on which you have a presence. You can jot it down on paper or create an Excel sheet – whichever works best for you.
Analyzing each social network is the most tedious part of the audit process, but in order to clean up your social media efforts, you have to know how each network is performing.
Some key stats to consider are:
- Traffic each social network is driving to your website
- Sales which can be attributed to each social media network
- Newsletter sign-ups from social media
- The size and engagement rate of each social media network
All of this will help you understand where your audience engages the most, and will come in handy with the next step.
You can take this a step further and determine how each of your active social media networks perform individually.
Some key stats to take a look at are:
- Follower number
- Engagements and engagement rates (likes, comments, RTs, mentions etc)
- Top posts
- Lowest performing posts
If you’ve been keeping track of these stats consistently, gathering them together shouldn’t be too time-consuming.
With my agency clients, we use third-party tools to keep track of analytics, such as Agorapulse and Later, but we also keep track of that stats available on the networks manually, using analytics tracker templates we’ve created.
This may feel somewhat redundant, but I’m a creature of habit, and taking a periodic inventory makes you look at stats consistently, enabling you to spot trends in engagement sooner.
You’ll also want to take a look at your benchmarks and goals to see if you’re on track to reach these as your social media marketing strategy stands.
3. Assign a Value to The Social Media Networks You’re on
Assigning a value to each social media network your brand is active on is a big part of your social media Spring cleaning. This will you determine where you should spend more time, where your budget should be allocated, and can even help you figure out your customer journey.
Although social media tracking can be difficult (interactions are hardly ever direct), you can put some tools and technologies in place to help you figure this out. You can estimate a value for each network by using tracked links, network specific codes, or even a simple dropdown question along the lines of “where did you learn about us” to help you figure out where your conversions are coming from.
Another element to keep in mind is how much time you spend on creating content, interacting and up-keeping each social media network.
4. Decide Which Networks to Keep
By taking into consideration which networks are working for your brand, you can then decide to keep all of your social media profiles active, or maybe get rid of some.
Remember that you don’t necessarily need to be on every network, so don’t be afraid to let go of the ones that aren’t working.
According to Pew Research, the most used social networks by Americans in 2019 so far are:
- YouTube (73% of American adults use)
- Facebook (69%)
- Instagram (37%)
- Pinterest (28%)
- LinkedIn (27%)
- Snapchat (24%)
- Twitter (22%)
- WhatsApp (20%)
5. Clean Up Profiles
After you decide which networks are worth keeping, you can move on to cleaning up your profiles.
Take a look at your bios, any links you've included, profile and header images. Ensure everything's up to date, and that your images are high quality.
Bonus: If you have any upcoming initiatives, think about how you can utilize your headers to drive extra traffic to these.
6. Revisit Your Analytics to Adjust Your Strategy
Okay, so now let’s take a step back.
After you’ve reviewed what profile changes you need to make, you can revisit the stats you gathered, including goals and benchmarks, and determine whether you need to adjust your strategy.
Here's where the big picture for your brand comes into play. Perhaps you notice that you get a lot of likes on Instagram, but not too many comments – so you have to work on engagement. Maybe your Facebook posts are getting good reach, but not generating click-throughs.
You should also look at the trends in your engagement data, and the points in time where your account was doing well.
What were you doing different? Are there any pieces you’re missing or would like to improve?
Keep the strategies that work, and cut the ones that don’t.
Part of this step is to set new goals and benchmarks
This part of your social media audit requires work as well. If you set any goals – did you reach them? If not, why? Was there a particular campaign or social media network that did really well or sent the most traffic to your site?
If you haven’t set benchmarks, now is a good time. Take an average of your impressions/downloads driven from social media/traffic sent from social media to your site etc. for a period of time (usually the last 3 -6 months). This average is your benchmark of how your account is performing - from here, and based on the answers to the types of questions you answered in the steps above, you can begin to set new goals.
This could be anything from increase membership by 10% month-to-month, to making it a goal to run three promotions a year, because you realize you haven’t run enough of them
Remember to follow metrics that make sense to your business.
Some things to integrate into your strategy if you aren’t already:
- Remember it’s all about engaging your current audience - Social media networks have seen so many shifts in the last year – especially when it comes to organic reach. My advice is to simply concentrate on the audience you already have. Serve them value, get them to talk to you, go out and engage with them, join their conversations. In a world of algorithms, getting who your current audience to engage with you will unlock the doors to organic reach. If you show the algorithm that your tribe loves you, it will serve your content to more people.
- Use videos and live videos - Videos are getting the most reach and interaction online, so try to integrate these into your social media strategy. You can use live videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for example, then repurpose them for extra exposure once you’re done.
- Create an Instagram Stories strategy - For a boost to your Instagram presence, get used to using Instagram Stories. Stories offer big opportunities for extra exposure and engagement with tools like Stickers, location tagging, and most recently, the ability to follow hashtags.
Bonus: While you’re auditing and spring cleaning your social media channels, take some time to clean out your email list and get rid of inactive members.
A social media audit is a great way to keep your strategies fresh and your accounts growing. Done right, an audit can help you re-focus and ensure your strategy is on the right track
A version of this post was first published on the Dhariana Lozano's blog.